Jo-Lene Ong (Malaysia/Netherlands) is a curator and teacher in Amsterdam of Malaysian-Hokkien heritage. She got her start in the field at the intersection of art and civisociety activism in Kuala Lumpur. Her practice engages with the aesthetics of recuperating language systems and cultural perspectives of peripheral communities as more equitable and sustainable technologies.

While in residence at Delfina Foundation, she will expand on the research she began as part of the 2022 project 5 Inclusion Tactics for 7 Curators, for which she curated Slippery Tongues Sliding Horizons on the diasporic conditions of language as a poetry of inclusion. This research will contribute to a series of public programmes at the 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennial. Jo-Lene is also recovering family history lost to the British colonial offensive against the communist resistance in Malaya.

Cherished projects include Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund (2020-21), Other Futures (2020-21), Practice Space (2019) a volume on art initiatives and forms of radical localisms, and SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now (2017) at Mori Art Museum and National Art Center Tokyo. Jo-Lenes independent learning is sustained by conversations with Sau Bin Yap, Vera Mey, Bo Wang, Rachael Rakes, Reuben Keehan, Brigitte van der Sande, and formative encounters with other generous cohorts. Jo-Lene teaches Theory at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.

Jo-Lene was born in Ipoh, Malaysia, and is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Mondriaan Fund


Winter 2023




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